Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5) What holds your heart right now? Does your soul yearn for Jesus, or the things of this world?Is your desire for Him or your sin?When living in an undisciplined age like ours, our affections can be unintentionally focused on the things of the world. Whether it’s the world or sin, misplaced affections rob us of the full glory of Christ. If you met Christ face to face this very moment would you hear “Well done,” or something akin to His assessment of the Church in Ephesus in Revelation 2:4: “You have left your first love.” Whatever worldly affections we might have, God expects you and me to overcome these things. Failure to overcome may very well indicate something far worse than misplaced affections. It could be indicative of not belonging to the Lord. John writes, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.” My overcoming then is of utmost importance for it serves as an outward proof of inward change. John emphasizes this in an earlier passage when he writes, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).
John says those who truly belong to Christ overcome the world. There is no hidden meaning here. This passage means exactly what it says. If one is born of God he or she will overcome the world. Their affections, although they may sometimes cross the line of being misplaced onto the things of this world, will in the end, always come back to that which is truly important—Christ. So, if you are able to comfortably embrace sin and let your affections settle onto the things of this world, watch out! Such could very well indicate you don’t belong to God.Remember, “Whatever is born of God overcomes the world.” So clearly, the answer is overcoming.But how does one overcome the world? In this passage John says, “This is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” The writer of Hebrews reminds us, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval” (Heb. 11:1-2). True faith overcomes because true faith brings eternity into view. I read somewhere,“Faith discerns the excellence of the things believed, and therefore, fills the heart with love and longing. It displaces the world from the heart by introducing a new and infinitely higher affection.”That’s the key—a new and infinitely higher affection—a love and longing for namely, Christ Himself. Remember, faith is only as good as its object. The object of saving faith is Jesus Christ.“Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:5) Our faith in Jesus overcomes the world and sin! Therefore, we can safely conclude if one’s faith is real then he or she will overcome the world. Is your faith real? Is your affection for Christ rather than anything this world has to offer or any sin with which Satan might tempt you? If so then be encouraged—you belong to the Lord!
As he neared the end of his first letter, John wrote, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).This is the key verse in the entire letter and serves to remind us we can know whether or not we possess eternal life. One way—the primary way—is through a changed life. Has your life radically changed where you now long for the things of God rather than the things of this world? Is your chief affection for Christ or something or someone else entirely? “The world is passing away, and also its lust; but the one who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17). What is the will of God? That you and I believe and love the Lord Jesus Christ above all else
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Striving to glorify God by becoming more like Jesus.
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